Feeling normal in these COVID-19 days has been hard for me. Wearing masks, keeping distance, and following walking patterns in stores is not natural. I miss giving hugs and sitting next to someone, talking face-to-face. It is strange to be widely spaced in Chapel and to be limited in our singing and chanting. It was weird to watch the running of the Kentucky Derby in an empty Churchill Downs in September, and I am not looking forward to The Masters being played in November. No azaleas? That will not feel normal. Even a Twins win does not feel normal to me.
So that is why I was so happy to do something that felt normal. I was able to be with The College of St. Scholastica student athletes. Even though competition for fall sports has been delayed at CSS, I was able to do the traditional prayer and blessing with the athletes. It was so good to be with them! While we were not able to gather in the Chapel, it felt normal to be together for prayer and reflect on who and what we are as Saints.
I have noticed that being at prayer and being with God is where I can feel normal. God does not keep social distance from me, and I do not have to wear a mask to talk to Him. It feels normal to talk to God and share my fears and anxieties about COVID-19. I can tell Him that I am upset, even mad, about all the disruptions to daily life. I cry to God about the sickness, suffering, and death. I ask Him when this is going to end and I even question where He is and what He is doing. Then I sit quiet and listen for God and He assures me of His loving presence. Now, that feels normal!